What happens when a street enters the gallery?
What happens when a street enters the gallery? When an exhibition area that is expected to host something aesthetically appealing and unique, as most people expect it, contains just street dirt? When all it carries is just graffiti, trash, pictograms, ads and signposts instead of art? Things that are all around us on our way to work, school, shop or home. Things that some people resent and others enjoy. Things that a typical urban citizen lives among and has learned not to see, hear or smell.
When we unexpectedly meet the street inside a familiar gallery (although in an uncommon space like the Bunker), we may want to think about this urban space for a while. The gallery may lead us to a conclusion that the street is a place of community and anonymity at the same time. It’s a place of random collisions of various worlds, both positive and negative. We are also a part of the street and we can play a role in what it looks like.
The exhibition titled The All-Seeing Eyes of the Streets presents a painter’s view of the streets. Or rather a view of two painters: Filip Sabol (1989) and Michal Turkovič (1987). They both graduated from the Studio of Painting (led by Ivan Csudai) at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. They have never been purely academically focused because they are also active members of the Bratislava’s graffiti scene. Urban themes have been present in their works since student times. Just as they brought the city and the street into their art they brought art into the streets of the city. This exhibition uses similar tactics, except they deviated a little bit from their usual tool of expression (painting) and decided to bring an installation simulating city streets into the gallery. By doing so, they opened a debate that does not focus just on the city but also on the ever-lasting question connected with the character of an artwork – ”is this actually art?”